While dealing with some recent trauma, I had been voluntarily socially distancing myself for the last two years. And I was finally getting ready to go out into the world again right before lockdown started. I had signed up for yoga classes and went three times in the first week. I had attended an optional work event. I was beginning to see family and friends. I was even considering going to a support group. Then came lockdown. Putting an immediate halt to my ability to be out in the world again. Making me feel depressed and anxious all over again. As I’m sure so many of you are feeling right now too.
I don’t know about you, but I know depression well. And I find I have all the familiar depressive symptoms during this time. I’m sad and withdrawn. I’m lacking energy. I’m having a difficult time concentrating and feeling interested. I’m having digestive problems. I’m oversleeping. I’m in pain.
But this is more than that.
There’s a sense of needing to endure without knowing how long we will be enduring. Causing anxiety. Of not knowing if the overwhelming amount of people dying will end. Causing more anxiety. Of not knowing if things will go back to normal. And more anxiety. Of not knowing if things should go back to normal. Anxiety again.
What I do know is that indefinite lockdown has taken away my ability to plan for what’s next. Making me feel, you guessed it, anxious. But also angry. Out of control. The control my mind so desperately seeks. For if I can’t control what happened in the past, or what’s happening in the present, I can always control what I want for the future. Notice, I said, What I want, not what happens. Because even the most controlling among us can’t control what ends up happening. Requiring us to shed layers of planning and details. Shattering notions of perfectionism.
But this is still more than that.
There’s a looming feeling of something that’s bigger. Something weighing heavily on my shoulders. Something worse than the depression and anxiety I’m used to feeling. And I can’t help but feeling like it’s because so many more people are feeling it too.
We are exploring the unknown together. Uncertain of how things will unfold. Putting us at a bit of a standstill. A pause in time.
So maybe this period of time is urging us to drop expectations altogether. Realize there is no control. For even when we’ve thought we had it, we didn’t.
It’s humbling. And a good reminder to surrender to the flow of life. However difficult that may be.
If you’re suffering, may you feel better very soon. I wish you light and love on your journey to heal.